by Sr. Margaret Hickey, ND
Today, the first Sunday of Advent, the Church begins a new year—so “Happy New Year” to all. It is time given to us to begin afresh with new energy and resolution on our journey to fullness in the life of our God. This Advent we are called to “be awake,” to be open to God’s words and instructions, to check-out our perspective on life and to prepare our hearts, minds and bodies for the ultimate, everlasting union with our God.
The imagery in today’s readings is rich.
Climb God’s mountain established for all people and learn to walk in God’s footsteps so that all instruments of war (swords, spears, tanks and nuclear armaments) will be turned into instruments of life and growth (plowshares, pruning hooks, dialogues, collaboration, respect).
Change behaviors that radiate darkness into those that produce light; change behaviors that are for evil into those that are good. Be aware of how God is working in our lives and in the lives of others each day.
Be prepared—not just for Christmas, and relatives and social gatherings—but for the coming of our God deeper into our lives.
Advent calls us to the quiet, to discerning of our behaviors, to reaching out in service to others, especially the poor and marginalized, to slow down and live each moment fully in light of the wonderful gift God has in store for us. Many graces are in store for us this Advent season.